Mountain Charlie Road

Mountain Charlie road high in the Santa Cruz mountains is one of my favorite weekend bicycle rides. Its a very rough and steep road, even riding a mountain bike.  It takes about sixty minutes to climb the 2,000 feet up to the summit but the fifteen minute downhill back to Glenwood road is an awesome reward. Its a crazy decent with a lot of tricky turns, unexpected cars and fast vanishing point drop-offs. A bicycle is the fastest way to go.

Mountain Charlie Road

Mountain Charlie


Google Earth Image.

Mountain Charlie road in Santa Cruz is my favorite ride. It’s only about 14 miles round trip, but what it lacks in distance it makes up for in altitude, sharp twisty one lane roads and best of all some the largest Redwoods in county. My riding friend Tom Walsh and I try and ride it once or twice a week. We’ve had to switch to mountain bikes recently due to the cracked and potholed pavement. Our wrists just could not take the vibrations no matter how many layers of tape we added to our handlebars. Mountain bikes are slower, but for us old guys they are  a lot more comfortable.

Above are my stats from Friday’s ride. It was a rainy, foggy, but not too cold ride. We finished at the Big Tree. The picture below shows only half of this great trees’ width. It’s over 260 feet tall and over 1000 years old.
-john

Mountain Charlie